Good University Guide 2023

London South Bank University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
London South Bank University

Contact details


103 Borough Road, London , SE1 0AA,

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True to its longstanding focus on the local community, London South Bank University (LSBU) is at the centre of a unique network offering secondary and further education, as well as a full range of university courses and commercial spinoffs. The LSBU Group includes school academies — one specialising in engineering —  and further education colleges in south London as well as the university and separate research, innovation and employment arms. The latest addition, the £100 million South Bank Technical College, is due to open in Nine Elms in September 2022, concentrating on science, technology and health.

Pathways between levels in the network are designed to improve social mobility and make the area more prosperous. Two thirds of LSBU’s students are from ethnic minorities, most of them drawn from the surrounding boroughs, helping the university to feature in the top 30 of our social inclusion index. The university has been chosen to take over the leadership of the capital’s main outreach network: London Uni Connect. 

The university is firmly rooted in south London, where £65 million has been spent in recent expansion. A campus opened last year in the centre of Croydon, focusing on business and healthcare, including a chiropractic clinic serving London’s only undergraduate master’s degree in the subject. The London Road building at the main campus in Southwark has been refurbished to add a library as well as computer rooms, catering facilities and a gym and sports centre.

Health students are based in hospitals in Romford, Leytonstone and Havering in east London, making LSBU one of the largest providers of healthcare professionals in the country. The university’s Institute of Health and Social Care underpins its mission to become the university of choice for the NHS and the healthcare workforce in London. The LSBU Health Skills Centre opened in 2021 in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in a bid to encourage more local people into health and social care jobs.

The School of Health and Social Care was the institution's star performer in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021. Overall, however, LSBU has dropped 28 places in our research ranking to 92nd place, outpaced by the improvement of its peer institutions. 

LSBU regards itself primarily as a university of technology, although the modern curriculum is much wider than that. Three sociology degrees, specialising in sustainability, black studies and social policy, are taking their first students in 2022-23. Courses in history and human geography closed in 2021 because of poor recruitment. 

Student satisfaction improved in the latest National Student Survey, published in summer 2022, after a big drop in 2021 reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on undergraduate experience. Satisfaction with teaching quality has returned to the top 100 (97=). 

However, in our main academic league table, LSBU gained just one place overall and remains in the bottom ten.

Emerging from the pandemic, LSBU has returned to face-to-face tuition for undergraduates, retaining some elements of online provision. Consultation with students showed support for the majority of teaching to be delivered in person but enthusiasm for the flexibility of online features in a blended system. The university’s 2025 corporate strategy promises to reduce the volume of exam assessment but to hold those that continue to be required on campus.

A growing cohort of apprenticeships now involves a thousand employers, with earn-as-you-learn programmes operating from level 4 (the equivalent of a foundation degree) to level 7, equivalent to a master’s degree. There are expected to be 3,500 students enrolled on more than 30 programmes by 2023, with 2,500 taking degree apprenticeships. A tranche of healthcare programmes has been introduced for 2022-23 with others in management, engineering and surveying planned for 2023-24.

The university operates its own employment agency to help students to find part-time work while they study and provides strong support for start-up companies. However, although LSBU was our University of the Year for Graduate Employment in 2018 and 2019, it has slipped out of the top 100 (110th) in our analysis of the latest Graduate Outcomes survey, tracking the proportion of graduates in highly skilled work or further study within 15 months. 

Newly improved sports facilities include a multipurpose hall, therapy services and a fitness suite, dance studio and injury clinic.

There are 1,338 rooms in halls of residence, allowing 80 per cent of students to live in if they want to do so. International students are guaranteed a place and UK students who are far from home have priority.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 126 (127)
Teaching quality 72.8 97th=
Student experience 67.9 108th=
Research quality 28.8 92nd
Ucas entry points 107 119th=
Graduate prospects 66.4 110th
Firsts and 2:1s 74.1 92nd=
Completion rate 78.5 110th
Student-staff ratio 17.5 85th=
World ranking - 801= (801=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 22,915/4,340
Applications/places ratio 5.3:1
Overall offer rate 63%


Places in accommodation 1,338
Accommodation costs £139 - £229
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £0
Fees (overseas year) £0
Fees (international) £15,400 - £25,400
Finance website
Graduate salaries £27,000


Sport points/rank 74, 106th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 28
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 96%
Grammar school admissions 2.1%
Independent school admissions 1.9%
Ethnic minority students (all) 67.8%
Black achievement gap -20.1%
White working class males 3.1%
First generation students 52.8%
Low participation areas 5.6%
Working class dropout gap 3.5%
Mature 41.8%
EU students 4.2%
Other overseas students 7.6%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 86.7%
Mechanical engineering 83.9%
Architecture 82%
Art and design 81.7%
Archaeology and forensic science 81%
Subjects allied to medicine 79.2%
Accounting and finance 76%
Biological sciences 75.8%
Civil engineering 75.8%
Business, management and marketing 75.6%
Sports science 75.4%
Electrical and electronic engineering 75%
Chemical engineering 74.7%
Radiography 74.4%
Nursing 73.9%
Social work 73.9%
Drama, dance and cinematics 73.8%
Communication and media studies 72.1%
Law 71.7%
Criminology 71.5%
Sociology 71.5%
Town and country planning and landscape 67.9%
Education 64.7%
Psychology 63.6%
Computer science 61.8%
Building 59.2%
General engineering 51.4%
Physiotherapy 45.1%